Here's one of those interesting coincidences that come up now and again. My attention was drawn to a great piece on the usefulness and under-valuation of music education, at the Daily Kos, on the same day that this petition turned up in my inbox. I won't quote from the first—though I do urge you, Gentle Reader, to take a gander at it. From the petition, though:
Across England, thousands of children are being denied a proper music education.
In one school I visited, the annual music budget was just £2.20 per pupil per year. Some teachers have nothing at all.
It's a scandal.
Learning an instrument changed my life. It actually saved my life. And now I'm lucky enough to perform around the world as a concert pianist.
But music doesn't just bring us joy. The UK music industry contributes £3.5billion to our economy.
Learning an instrument has also been proven to boost children's self-confidence, discipline, teamwork, concentration and performance in other subjects.
The Government knows this. In the National Plan for Music Education published in 2011, it declared: "Children from all backgrounds and every part of England should have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument".
This isn't happening.
And from the email alert:
What instrument did you learn at school? Probably not a rubbish bin, a margarine tub, or a chocolate tin. Yet that's what some of our children are playing, as their schools don't have real instruments.
This is, as the author says, a scandal. Please consider signing the petition.
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